In Continuity and Discontinuity, thirteen noted evangelical theologians discuss, fairly and clearly, the continuity/discontinuity debate in regard to six basic categories: theological systems, hermeneutics, salvation, the Law of God, the people of God, and kingdom promises. Covering much more than the differences between Covenant Theology and Dispensationalism, this work of distinguished evangelical scholarship will fuel much profitable study and discussion.
Evangelicals agree that the Bible is God's inerrant word. But we sometimes differ on how to relate the messages of the Old and New Testaments. Without a basic understanding of this crucial matter, it is difficult to know how to use the Testaments to formulate either doctrine or practice.
For example: Was Israel the OT Church--are OT promises to God's national people fulfilled in the church today? Or, is Mosaic Law binding on believers now--are twentieth-century Christians to obey the Ten Commandments, including Sabbath observance?
Leading theological minds tackle these and other issues in this stimulating work. Designed as a dialogue, the volume’s contributors present their respective ideas in contrast to the views of members writing from differing theological camps. Essays include “The Law of Moses and the Law of Christ” paired with “The Law of Moses or the Law of Christ” in the section “The Law and the Testaments”, and “Israel and the Church: A Case for Continuity” paired with “Israel and the Church: A Case for Discontinuity” in the section “The People of God and the Testaments.” Thoughtful and engaging, Continuity and Discontinuity should rouse the attention of all those interested in contemporary evangelical theology.
“The real point is that dispensationalists recognize multiple senses of terms like ‘Jew,’ ‘seed of Abraham,’ ‘chosen people,’ and they insist that none of those senses is canceled out or becomes unimportant once one turns to the NT.44 Specifically, Scripture uses these terms in at least four distinct senses. The first is a biological, ethnic, national sense.” (Page 72)
“Fourth, neither Calvinism nor Arminianism is at the essence of Dispensationalism.” (Page 70)
“All dispensationalists think some sort of distinction between Israel and the church is important. They also think one must take seriously the unconditionality of covenants like the Abrahamic and Davidic and the implications for Israel’s future the covenants apparently entail.” (Page 68)
“Finally, dispensational understanding of the law is not an essential of the system.” (Page 71)
“Second, the terms are sometimes used in a political sense.” (Page 72)
This stimulating dialogue between Reformed and dispensational theologians is must reading for those seeking an up-to-date understanding of the distinguishing features of the two major theological systems that occupy evangelical Christianity.
— Gary L. Nebeker, Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society